Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Recent Favorites

It has ages since I last did a favorites post.

I get so caught up in reviewing new products that I sometimes forget that sharing what "older" products I'm loving can be just as helpful.

(I'm going to try not to go so long between favorites posts in the future -- and maybe mix in a few other non-review posts here and there to keep things interesting.)

But since it's been so long since my last Favorites, I'm going to share some things that I've been loving for the past few months or so.  To keep it simple and quick, I'll break them down by category so if you're not interested in a particular type of product, you can just skip over it.


From l. to r.: Tarte Amazonian Colored Clay Liquid Foundation, IT Cosmetics YSBB CC+ Cream, bareMinerals BareSkin Foundation

Lately, I've been obsessed with foundations that feel super lightweight on the skin.

That probably has something to do with the fact that it's warm and I hate thick, cakey foundation melting down my face in the heat.

But just because I don't want my foundation to feel heavy doesn't mean I don't need decent coverage. I've been battling some breakouts lately, so I've definitely got stuff to hide.

That past few months, I've had three go-to foundations/face products.

I am absolutely in love with the IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream -- you can read a full review here --because it feels like a tinted moisturizer going on the skin but covers like a gorgeous medium foundation. The finish is a little dewy, so now in the warmer weather, I usually set it with a powder to prevent shine but it feels great and looks great which makes it a no-brainer kind of product.

I feel similarly about the the bareMinerals BareSkin Foundation (read a full review here). I am amazed at how much coverage this stuff provides considering how light it feels and looks on the skin. It's also really easy to build up coverage without it look cakey because it has such a thin, lightweight consistency. Like the IT Cosmetics CC Cream, though, it can have a dewy finish so it's best to set it with powder in the summer if you don't want to look shiny.

The other foundation that I've been using a ton recently is the Tarte Amazonian Colored Clay Liquid Foundation . It's not a product I see talked about much, probably because it seems like it's only available at QVC. That's kind of a shame because it's a nice thin, lightweight foundation that can easily be built for extra coverage. Unlike the other two foundation I've mentioned, this one has a matte finish so I can get away with not powdering it, even in summer, if I don't need to last all day.

It comes in a cool container too -- it's got a little mesh sifter that you just press your brush or sponge up against to dispense the product.


Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Dark Circle Eraser (l.) & IT Cosmetics Eyelift in a Tube (r.)

Since I'm all about lightweight face makeup in the summer, the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Dark Circle Eraser has been a definite favorite of mine. Though, honestly, I use this stuff year-round because it has such a thin consistency that I never have to worry about it creasing under my eyes. I'll even dot it on redness on my face if I'm in a hurry and it covers that pretty well too.

I hate to throw this term around too often, but this is definitely a holy grail product for me. I'll never be without it.

I've also been loving the IT Cosmetics Eyelift in a Tube, which I reviewed in detail here. It combines the Bye Bye Undereye Concealer with the Hello Light Brightener for seriously bright under eyes. It has a lot more coverage that the Maybelline Dark Circle Eraser so I like it for days when I'm looking especially ragged. The Bye Bye Undereye also works well on other spots and blemishes on the face.


Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Ethereal

In the winter when my skin is drier, I don't powder everyday. Now that it's warmer, though, more often than not, I'll dust a little over my foundation to keep it from looking shiny.

My hands down favorite powder over the past year or so is the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Ethereal Light. It is so lightweight and silky smooth that it never looks cakey and doesn't accentuate dry patches. It also gives the skin such a gorgeous soft finish.

Another holy grail product for sure.

(I know, I know -- twice in one post.  I'm going nuts.)

It is a white powder, though, so if you have darker skin, it'll probably work best as a highlighting product. Otherwise, I think that it could make the skin look a little ashy.

Eye Shadow

Lately, I've been doing mostly soft natural eye looks, so the fabulous IT Cosmetics Naturally Pretty Vol. 1 Palette has been one of my go-to palettes. (You can see a full review and swatches here.) These are some of the most fabulous matte eyes shadows that you will ever find. They are so creamy and pigmented, it's kind of amazing.

IT Cosmetics Naturally Pretty Vol. 1 Palette

I've also been loving my Inglot Eye Shadows a ton lately.  A few months back, I picked up a Freedom Palette that contained 20 of their best-selling shades when it was on sale for half price. (The palette I got is no longer available but they do have two different 10-pan collections available for $33 each if you're interested.)

They're mostly natural shades and vary in finish from matte to super shimmery -- but they're all fabulous. They're the kind of shadows that make doing your eyes super easy, so I can't recommend them enough.

Inglot Eye Shadows

But it is summer so I do like to introduce a little color into my eye looks now and again -- the Balm's Balm Voyage Palette is perfect for that. It's got plenty of neutrals, but it also has a fabulous purple, a gorgeous mint green, and a lovely teal (check out some swatches here) -- and I've raved about the Balm's eye shadow formula enough in the past so you know how much I love it.

If you're interested in the palette, I'd recommend waiting for the next time The Balm is on sale at HauteLook. The palette's been available the last few times at nearly half price, so it's definitely a steal.

The Balm Balm Voyage Palette 


Milani Baked Blush in Bella Rosa (l.) & BECCA Beach Tint in Grapefruit

I don't know if this is weird, but my favorite looks for blush in the summer is kind of a rosy, sunburned effect.

That's why I've been wearing the hell out of Milani's Baked Blush in Bella Rosa. It's a gorgeous rosy red shade that's super pigmented and blends like a dream. It's also matte so you don't have to worry about it looking too shiny in the summer sun.

When I want a more natural, long-wearing blush, though, I've been grabbing for my BECCA Beach Tint in Grapefruit, a warm coral shade. It's a cream stain so it stays on the cheeks for a long time and is even supposed to be water-resistant. I haven't really put that claim to the test, but it lasts all day on me even when I'm sweating up a storm.


Tarte Amazonian Clay Bronzer in Park Avenue Price (l.), MAC Extra Dimension Bronzer in Aphrodite's Shell (c.) & Pixi Beauty Bronzer in Subtly Suntouched (r.)

I kind of feel like the general category of bronzers should be on my favorites list because it's only been recently that I've really embraced using it on a regular basis.

I'm so fair that I've always thought bronzer would look ridiculous or just be too difficult to use, but what I've found is that if I use the right shade, a fluffy brush, and a light hand, it can really help add definition and warmth to my face that's super flattering.

So if you've shied away from bronzer in the past, I definitely recommend giving it another go.

If you're pale like me, stay away from bronzers with orange undertones -- you really want a slightly reddish undertone because pale skin tends to go ruddy when it gets too much sun.

I hate to mention a limited edition product in a favorites list, but MAC Extra Dimension Bronzer in Aphrodite's Shell from the Alluring Aquatics collection out last month has been my absolute favorite (Keep an eye out at your local CCO; you never know what might show up.) I also love the Pixi Beauty Bronzer in Subtly Suntouched and the Tarte Amazonian Clay Bronzer in Park Avenue Princess.

Lip Products

Maybelline Baby Lips Dr. Rescue in Just Peachy (l.), L'Oreal Privee Collection Lipstick in Jennifer's Nude (c.) & e.l.f. Mineral Lip Tint in Guava (r.)
I've been going mostly sheer on my lips these past few months, so I've been loving my Maybelline Baby Lips Dr. Rescue in Just Peachy, a sheer peach nude, and e.l.f. Mineral Lip Tint in Guava, a bright sheer coral. When I go for a traditional lipstick, it's usually a nude shade and my favorite has been the L'Oreal Privee Collection Lipstick in Jennifer's Nude, which is a pinky nude.

MAC's Pink Lemonade (l.), Milani Rose Blush (c.) & NYX Tiramisu (r.)

For glosses, MAC's Pink Lemonade Lipglass is always a summer favorite for me because it's just the perfect peachy pink shade. I've also been loving the Milani Brilliant Shine Lip Gloss in Rose Blush for a brighter pink look and the NYX Butter Gloss in Tiramisu for my nude days.

Hair Products

Pantene Expert Advanced + Keratin Repair Shampoo & Conditioner

I usually don't talk about hair care products because honestly, I don't much with my hair.

I color it and on special occasions, I curl it, but most days, I just wash it, let it dry naturally, and twist it up in a bun.

But I got a couple of generous sample sizes of a new Pantene shampoo and conditioner in my last New Beauty Test Tube (at least I think that's where I got them) and I decided to give them a chance when I was running low on my usual hair stuff.

And while I'm no hair care expert, the Pantene Expert Advanced Keratin Repair Shampoo and Conditioner score seriously high marks in my book.

My hair isn't super damaged, but I do dye it so it can get a little dry at times. I also don't want to admit how long it's been since I got a haircut -- due almost entirely to laziness, sadly -- but the ends of my hair are in seriously rough shape.

With this shampoo and conditioner, though, my hair felt soft and seriously healthy; it was shiny and manageable without being weighed down; and the ends didn't look like a sorry, scraggly mess.

I went out and bought replacement shampoo and conditioner before I realized what a miracle worker this duo is, but as soon as I finish up my current products, I am definitely repurchasing the Pantene Expert Advanced Keratin Repair Shampoo and Conditioner.

So those are the products I've been loving over the past few months. Please feel free to share some of your recent favorites below -- I love to hear what's working for everybody else.


  1. Wow you show amazing products here! The It Cosmetics Naturally Pretty Palette looks gorgeous and I really want to try it! And the Hourglass powder sounds amazing :)

    1. I can't recommend that palette enough! Some of the nicest matte shadows I've ever used for sure. :)


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